Panda Global has released former Evo champion Lee "Infiltration" Seon-woo, who has voluntarily withdrawn from the Capcom Pro Tour 2018 and 2019 seasons, after allegations of domestic violence in South Korea.
Following an online report of the allegations in September, Panda Global benched Lee and canceled his travel accommodations for upcoming tournaments. Panda Global then commissioned a certified court translator, lawyers and legal consultants to review multiple court cases, documents and audio recordings from South Korea between Lee and the woman.
"Panda Global does not condone violence in any form, however, we had a duty to perform a thorough investigation and not to just move forward on partial, unverified information -- to do so would be betraying the core principles this team is built on," the team said in a statement. "Doing the right thing is the foundation of Panda Global, as is being an organization that focuses on the players and community first and foremost."
According to Panda Global's investigation, Lee was arrested on Oct. 22, 2017 following an altercation between him and the woman, in which they argued, threatened to call the police and fought over the woman's cellphone. Panda Global said it obtained and reviewed a 15-minute audio recording of the dispute, in which Lee and the woman argue before a security guard responds to the disturbance. Panda Global said it was unable to obtain a police report from the incident.
Police arrested Lee, and the woman was granted a temporary restraining order until Nov. 3, 2017. She obtained an a medical note from a local hospital, in which she was diagnosed with bruising and an injury to the wrist. The woman pressed charges against Lee on Nov. 13, 2017, and on Nov. 30, 2017, a judge ruled against Lee and issued a 700,000 won ($630) fine.
Lee disputes the woman's accounts and says he did not abuse her. He said he withdrew from the Capcom Pro Tour "because I could not do any more damage to my team and the [fighting game community]."
Lee is one of fighting games' most accomplished players, particularly in the Street Fighter series. He is a multi-time Evolution Championship Series champion, having won titles in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition in 2012, Street Fighter X Tekken in 2013 and Street Fighter V in 2016. Lee is also one of the few prominent fighting game players from South Korea, one of esports' most successful countries.